It may not always be easy, but the benefits are truly worth it.
Being “authentically yourself” is an incredibly hard thing to do.
In a world that champions conformity and acceptance, making the hard choice to stick by your guns is becoming an increasingly rare thing.
We sacrifice our own happiness and sense of purpose for the thoughts and feelings of others.
We worry and fret of what people may think or feel.
We don’t want to “rock the boat.”
We want to “keep the peace.”
It waters us down.
Strips away the essence that makes unique.
And the what do we end up with?
Peace? That’s overrated!
A superficial happiness? That’s a prescription for a hollowed out life.
A chance to “fit in?” To “conform?”… Please …
Here recently, I had a friend, whom I already admired, do something that stunned me. He was in a situation that I would say many folks find themselves in. I won’t disclose what it is but he had a great struggle going on in his mind and heart. Should he continue down a path of compliance and conformity? Should he continue down the easy path, bringing short-term peace at the expense of long-term happiness? Or should he listen to a voice, deep inside that was telling him that the path to his happiness was going to involve something unpleasant in the near term future? That it was going to be scary. That it was going to be uncertain.
My buddy wrestled with this but, in the end, he settled on the course that involved pain, uncertainty and a healthy dose of fear. All that said, he chose what he truly thought was right. He chose the path that he felt most aligned with him as a person. He chose what was “authentically him.”
No one has the benefit of hindsight when they make a decision. Heck, if that were the case, we would all waffle on decision making even more than we do now.
However, when we stay true to ourselves, I believe it liberates us to a degree that we are no longer beholden to others for self-worth, happiness and a litany of other things. We can take solace in the fact that we are abiding by what we truly want for ourselves.
I offer you a challenge this week. Take a decision in your life and ask yourself, “if I was authentically myself, what would I choose?”
What would make you happy?
What would be best for you?
What would make the most difference in your life?
What would be, “authentically you?”